Snowmobile racing, it's not just for the snow - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Snowmobile racing, it's not just for the snow

Protivin, Iowa -- It's something Christopher Columbus would never think of, snowmobiling on grass, and believe it or not some say the machines run better on grass than snow.

"The acceleration and the hook-up, the traction you can get off the ground is incredibly tighter and faster than what you see on snow and slick conditions in the winter," says Christian Miller, the president of Driftrunners, Inc, who sponsored Sunday's grass drag races in Protivin.

"I thought it was just crazy," says racer Trent Langenwalter, "I couldn't put it together, but once you get doing it, you can't stop."

It's a unique form of racing that originated mostly in back yards and fields.  A sport that also has it's Danica Patrick here in Iowa dominating the fourth annual Driftrunners Inc. Drag races was Darmen Erhardt, who got her sled up to 106 miles per hour in the radar runs which tends to leave angry fellas in her dust.

"There's been a few cases where there's been a couple of people very upset and didn't take it lightly," says Erhardt, "but our pro circuit and pretty much around here, they're good people."

Erhardt met her husband on the track but by day she is a health clinic manager in Waterloo where many of her coworkers at the find it hard to believe the Traer resident is a professional drag racer.

"When I tell people I drag race sleds they're like 'what's that?', so I usually have to get video out or pictures and show them so they understand what it is."

While snow will always be the preferred snow mobile surface, these sledding enthusiasts are taking advantage of the warm weather.

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